A meeting of defence ministers of member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) took place in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 30, the Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan announced. The ministers discussed regional and global security issues, as well as crisis elimination measures. Minister of Defence of Kazakhstan Imangali Tasmagambetov noted that the level of cooperation between the SCO member states is very productive. “We are planning to strengthen the cooperation ties and enhance the value of the organisation in the future. In this regard, we hope that member states will support Kazakhstan’s initiative to hold the next meeting in Astana in May 2016,” said Tasmagambetov.
During the meeting, it was decided to hold an international conference in Moscow in October 2015 with the participation of the general staffs of the Armed Forces of SCO member states to discuss military aspects of the situation in Afghanistan, where stability continues to be challenged.
After the meeting, the Kazakh delegation met with Chinese Defense Minister Colonel-General Chang Wanquan. One of the main strategic priorities for Kazakhstan is to strengthen and expand cooperation with China, as Kazakh-Chinese relations have deep historical roots and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a mechanism to continue collaborating in this direction.
The SCO is an organisation that stands for the establishment of a common and indivisible security space in Asia and provides a basis to conduct activities, including Peace Mission, an anti-terrorism military exercise.
“A military exercise that was held in 2014 showed a high level of military organisation of the Chinese party. Our soldiers completed joint tasks within a complex and challenging environment. We are also expecting the organisation of the first bilateral tactical anti-terrorist exercises on the territory of our states in September-October this year, which will increase the level of preparation of our units in the face of the common security threat. Another important mission we have recently implemented was the joint training of tank crews for the Tank Biathlon World Cup, which was held in Kazakhstan in June this year,” said Tasmagambetov.
In 2016, a SCO military exercise will be held in Kyrgyzstan and in 2018 in Russia.